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Clark, Ian R., and Joseph A. Cartwright, 2012, A case study of three-dimensional foldand growth sequence development and the link to submarine channel-structureinteractions in deep-water fold belts, in D. Gao, ed., Tectonics and sedimentation: Implications for petroleum systems: AAPG Memoir 100, p. 315335.


Copyright copy2012 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

A Case Study of Three-dimensional Fold and Growth Sequence Development and the Link to Submarine Channel-structure Interactions in Deep-water Fold Belts

Ian R. Clark,1 Joseph A. Cartwright2

1Shell International Exploration and Production B.V. PO Box 162, 2501 AN The Hague, The Netherlands (e-mail: [email protected])
23D Lab, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, United Kingdom (e-mail: [email protected])


We thank the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures for the permission to use the 3-D seismic volume presented here for the purposes of scientific studies. We also thank the reviewers for their hard work in reviewing the earlier versions of this manuscript.


Growth sequences in deep-water fold and thrust belts can preserve a record of the interactions between coeval sedimentation and deformation. These sedimentary sequences can also form hydrocarbon exploration targets as they provide sites where sands can be incorporated into a fold during uplift. This chapter uses three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data to take a combined structural and stratigraphic approach to the analysis of several folds and their adjacent growth sequences from the eastern Nile submarine fan, Eastern Mediterranean Sea. We use along-strike measurements of fold uplift and growth sequence expansion factor to illustrate the irregular spatial and temporal development of sea-floor relief during fold growth. Irregular 3-D fold growth controls growth sequence deposition and affects submarine channel morphology within a specific type of growth sequence (onlapping or overlapping). Submarine channels within these growth sequences can overflow a developing fold or become diverted, depending on the relative rate of uplift and sedimentation. In detail, however, these channel systems show strong variations in sinuosity, which can have important implications for the development of laterally accreted sand packages. This study indicates that variations in folding along strike is a key factor that affects the development of submarine channel systems and provides a case study of how conceptual models of these settings can be improved by fully linking structural and stratigraphic observations.

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